Labour Should Follow the Greens – Not the Other Way Around

There’s more to life than winning elections – it’s time the British political landscape was truly changed.

Recently, journalist Owen Jones wrote that the Greens should join up with Labour. It’s understandable Jones would say that. For one, he’s always been loudly Labour, and for another it just makes electoral sense for anyone who wants to beat the Tories. The problem is, politics should be about more than scraping the maths and about changing hearts and minds.

In terms of policy, the Greens are better than Labour. They’ve been consistent on Brexit compared to Labour, they also have environmentally sound policies and often their socialist ideas go further than Labour’s.

The Greens are envisioning a future where everyone could thrive. It’s founded on the idea of protecting the planet, because we depend on it for life. Labour is getting better on environmental issues, but it still doesn’t promise the changes which are needed if we’re to avoid the impact of climate change as much as possible.

“The Greens are envisioning a future where everyone could thrive”

Green issues have long been dismissed, but it is an issue of social justice. Those in poverty (across the world) are far more likely to experience the worst of climate change. The rich are good at protecting themselves because they have the resources to do so. If Corbyn wants to model himself as a radical, then why not truly be radical? Why only go half the distance?

For too long Britain has been led by conservatism – not the party, but the ideology. We swing from the centre to the right. We need true diversity of ideas. The Greens losing their autonomy and their own distinct values just to prop up Labour might have a short term gain, but it would be a long term disaster for the UK’s political landscape.

We need different conversations and different ideas. They shouldn’t be snuffed out just because Corbyn is probably closer than ever to grabbing the keys to Downing Street. If anything, this is an opportunity to make sure the conversations in the UK change in the long-term, and that the swing left isn’t just a blip that ends whenever Corbyn steps back from politics. We need a complete overhaul of how we look at politics. We need to plan long-term, for our society and our planet, and not just react to the latest news or the latest polls.

Labour are stronger for the Greens presence. Some Green candidates at the last election actually supported Labour and encouraged others to vote tactically just so the Tories might be beaten. The Greens are giving solidarity, but that doesn’t mean they should just roll over and out of the political realm. We need their ideas, and we need them to put pressure on Labour to never be complacent and to keep pushing for a better world. The Greens give Labour something to aspire to. perhaps not in numbers, but in values and vision. Labour should be grateful for that.

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